Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Task Force ODIN: The Sequel…

So it happened that my Task Force Odin saga had a nice and unexpected sequel. I was talking about creation of the both coins in detail in Part 1 and Part 2. Just to recoup, in early February of 2012, I was contacted by Maj. Brian “Blue” Simms, member of Task Force ODIN (name is an acronym for Observe, Detect, Identify, and Neutralize). It is a United States Army aviation battalion created in August 2006 to conduct reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA) operations to combat insurgent operators of improvised explosive devices in Iraq. At the time, the battalion command decided to create two challenge coins for the unit. A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion (usually military), bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and carried by the organization’s members. They are given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. Such coins can also be awarded for excellence. In addition, they are also collected by service members. Being a big fan of my work, Brian wanted to see if I could help with the design. If you are interested in how it all went down, you might want to check back my earlier articles. Today I have received a package from Afghanistan, containing the two very coins in a flesh, as well as a nice certificate of appreciation from the TF Odin Command. And of course I couldn’t resist the opportunity to showcase all of the above on this blog, as well as to thank my friends at TF Odin for this wonderful token of appreciation.

 Just to remind, here is the final draft of the first coin:

And here is the coin itself:

Here is the final draft of the second coin:

And the actual coin:

The images don’t really do a full justice to the actual pieces. When you have them in your hands, they feel and look outstanding…
And last, but not least -- the awesome certificate of appreciation I was talking about…

Cool stuff. Thanks guys! Stay frosty and come home safely…

Thursday, November 8, 2012

2BN, 307th Regiment

While working on my “Military Insignia 3D” project, quite often I am being approached directly by unit commanders with various requests to recreate their unit insignia for them. The reason being is that the only available images of such insignia are usually of extremely low resolution and poor quality. I see this demand growing exponentially, and not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with it. However, these, by far, are my most cherished and exciting projects. This time it was no different. I was contacted by LTC. Johnny Workman Jr., commander of the 2BN, 307th regiment, 157th Infantry Brigade.  He sent me the best available image of their regimental insignia, which I include below, and asked if there was anything I could do. As I usually do when I get requests like that, I out on hold all my ongoing work and rolled up my sleeves. This was indeed a challenging one, considering the poor quality and low resolution of the “best” image I had to work with. Usually, cases like this mean that I have to start from scratch, having to build an entirely fresh vector image of the insignia, and then work my M-LETT 3D magic in Photoshop. The more challenge – the more exciting it gets (at least for me). Below is the result; you be the judge.

But first, a little bit of regiment’s history. The regiment was constituted on the 5th of August 1917 in the National Army as the 307th Infantry and assigned to the 77th Division. It was Organized 29 August 1917 at Camp Upton, New York and Demobilized 9 May 1919 at Camp Upton, New York.  During World War I, the regiment participated in the following campaigns: Oise-Aisne, Meuse-Argonne, Champagne 1918 and Lorraine 1918. On 24 June 1921, it was reconstituted in the Organized Reserves as the 307th Infantry and assigned to the 77th Division (later re-designated as the 77th Infantry Division).

On 25 March 1942, the regiment was ordered into active military service and reorganized at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. During World War II, the regiment fought on Western Pacific, at Leyte (with arrowhead) and at Ryukyus (with arrowhead). The regiment was inactivated on March 15, 1946 in Japan. On December 17, 1946, the unit was re-activated in the Organized Reserves with Headquarters at Bronx, New York. On May 1, 1959 the 307th was reorganized as a parent regiment under the Combat Arms Regimental System to consist of the 1st Battle Group, an element of the 77th Infantry Division. On the 26th of March, 1963 it was reorganized to consist of the 1st and 2d Battalions, elements of the 77th Infantry Division. Consequently, the 1st and 2d Battalions were inactivated on December 30th, 1965 and relieved from assignment to the 77th Infantry Division. On October 17th, 1999, the 307th Infantry was withdrawn from the Combat Arms Regimental System, redesignated as the 307th Regiment, and reorganized to consist of the 1st, 2d, and 3d Battalions, elements of the 87th Division (Training Support); 1st, 2d, and 3d Battalions concurrently allotted to the Regular Army. On December 15th, 2009, the 1st, 2d, and 3d Battalions were relieved from assignment to the 87th Division.

The 2nd Battalion, 307th Regiment is currently assigned to 157th Infantry Brigade. The 157th Infantry Brigade plans, synchronizes, and executes pre-deployment training and validation in support of mobilized Reserve Component (RC) units in accordance with Combatant Commander, Department of the Army, FORSCOM, and First Army directives. On order, provides pre-mobilization training assistance for RC units within capabilities.

The Distinctive Unit Insignia consists of a silver color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86cm) in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Azure, a mailed dexter hand grasping an oak branch fructed Or debruised by a bend wavy Argent charged with a broken chain Sable, on a chief of the last a portcullis of the third. Attached below the shield is a Silver scroll inscribed "CLEAR THE WAY" in Black letters. The mailed gauntlet grasping the oak branch symbolizes the drive through the Argonne Forest in World War I; “A” company of this regiment was part of the famous Lost Battalion. The broken chain represents the rescue of the battalion by the 307th. The bend commemorates the Vesle River and the portcullis of Grand Pre.  The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 307th Regiment Infantry, Organized Reserves on 21 Apr 1927. It is amended to withdraw the "Organized Reserves" from the designation in 10 Aug 1959. On 28 Jul 1970 the insignia was amended to revise the symbolism. The distinctive unit insignia was redesignated for the 307th Regiment on 8 Apr 1999.  

As always, the above insignia will be available on a limited number of selected quality products via my “Military Insignia” galleries at Zazzle. You may simply follow the direct links in the article to navigate to the corresponding galleries
I will also make my insignia designs available free of charge to any military units and personnel, for any non-profit/non-commercial and charitable causes, benefiting troops and their families. In addition, I would make my designs available free of charge to any military branches, formations and units for any non-commercial internal duty-specific purposes, such as unit-related web design, training materials or presentations, as I did on many occasions in the past.

The above information provided in part by U.S. Army Center of Military History, The Institute of Heraldry, Global Security, and official websites of the above-mentioned units.